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20 Things You Didn't Know about Volvo Cars

Volvo is one of the oldest automotive manufacturers in existence. While it’s easy to forget that the larger company, Volvo Group, is different from Volvo Cars, it’s equally important to remember that both companies got their start from the same origins. As a matter of fact, Volvo Cars wouldn’t exist today of it had not been for the actions of its parent company, Volvo Group, which essentially solidified the very existence of the smaller company.

When you really stop and think about it, it's interesting to think about where the automotive world would be without a company like Volvo. There is no doubt that this company has been largely responsible for some of the best Innovations to come along in the automotive industry since the car was invented. If it weren't for them, cars probably wouldn't run as efficiently as they do these days, nor would they be as safe. It's largely because of the innovations of this company that people have the opportunity to enjoy the modern-day automobile, regardless of what type of car they choose to drive.

If you want to know more about the way Volvo Cars got its start, not to mention the changes the company has been through over the years, you can read through the 20 things listed below. It will give you a much better idea of how the company operates, not to mention how influential it has been when it comes to building care on a much grander scale.

1. The company is based in Sweden

The parent company got its start in a town called Gothenburg. This is a relatively remote village in Sweden that has become something of a legend, largely because of the existence of Volvo. Thanks to their very presence, more jobs have been created and the entire economic strength of the region has been improved. You might even go as far as saying that Volvo revitalized this area. It’s definitely something that people in Sweden are proud of.

2. They also produce heavy equipment

As far as the parent company goes, it's not just automobiles that it's responsible for. While it’s true that it also produces buses, it's even better known for producing heavy equipment, mainly for construction sites. This is something that most people are largely unaware of, leading them to feel somewhat surprised when they find heavy equipment with the Volvo name attached to it.

3. The company has its own marine division

It's important to note that the company doesn't stop with heavy equipment production. They're also heavily involved in the production of marine equipment. It's not at all uncommon to find boats, boat components and other marine equipment that has been produced by Volvo. One thing is certain, this is a company that has learned how to operate efficiently in virtually all areas of transportation, regardless of what that particular mode of transportation might be.

4. Volvo Cars operates independently of the umbrella company

This is where people sometimes get confused. Volvo Cars and Volvo Group are actually two different companies, although they're both under the same umbrella, at least they used to be. At one point, Volvo Group decided to create a separate section of its company that would focus on automobile production, referring to it as Volvo Cars. At the time, both companies were operating out of the same location. Today, much of that has changed and will be discussed in the following sections.

5. In 1999, the Volvo Cars division was sold

In the late 1990s, Volvo Group made the decision to sell its Cars division to Ford Motor Corporation. Even though the automobiles that were produced still carried the Volvo name, they were actually built by Ford. Once the sale was complete, Volvo only retained naming rights and had nothing to do with the actual production of the automobiles themselves.

6. The division sold again in 2010

Ford Motor Corporation didn’t really handle the production of Volvo automobiles for very long. In 2010, they made the decision to sell to a Chinese based corporation called Geeley. To this day, this is the company that is responsible for producing automobiles with the Volvo name. The only difference is that the parent company, Volvo Group, has a little more say in what does and doesn't happen with this particular company than they ever did with Ford.

7. They’ve been on the Stock Exchange for decades

This is probably one of the oldest companies trade on the Stock Exchange. They started trading back in 1935 and have been traded consistently ever since. It’s an important accomplishment for any company to be traded this long, but it's takes on an even bigger importance when you're talking about an automotive manufacturer. Many of them didn't even exist back when this company started trading on the Stock Market, so you know there's plenty of history behind the company itself, not to mention experience.

8. They’ve been producing cars even longer

The first Volvo automobile rolled off the assembly line in 1927. Since then, they have been producing vehicles each and every year. This is something that most automakers simply cannot lay claim to, with the exception of companies like Ford that have been making automobiles since they were invented.

9. Part of the company is still housed in its original building

You might find this hard to believe, but there is a portion of the company that still operates out of the original building that it started working out of close to the turn of the 20th century. This is the building that's located in Sweden, and it still serves the company extremely well.

10. They’ve been producing agricultural equipment for generations

You might have been surprised to learn that Volvo is also associated with the production of construction and marine equipment, but did you know that they've also been producing agricultural equipment since the 1950s? It isn't at all uncommon to find tractors and other agricultural equipment that carry the Volvo name.

11. It all started with some ball bearings

Before the company started producing cars and heavy equipment of various types, they manufactured and sold ball bearings. For some, it might be hard to believe that a company like this got its start by manufacturing something so simple. Nevertheless, that is precisely how Volvo got its start. If it hadn’t been for the production of ball bearings, Volvo Cars might not exist today.

12. It’s cars are sold all over the world

Despite the fact that the parent company is based in Sweden and the current company responsible for production of the automobiles is based in China, Volvo vehicles are sold all over the world. They can be found in almost every country. In many places such as the United States, they are easily considered among the top choices for quality cars that are both reliable and safe to drive.

13. There are thousands of dealerships

In reality, there are more than 2,000 dealerships that sell these cars in several countries. Many people would place that number a little higher, somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 dealerships. The highest concentration is in places like the United States and the United Kingdom, along with China and Sweden.

14. They have a whole section dedicated to making sure no one copies their work

For some reason, people have always tried to copy the work Volvo has put in on other automobiles. As a direct result the company has an entire division that is dedicated solely to dealing with patent infringement. Obviously, the goal is to make sure that Volvo remains unique. The company believes the best way to do that is to dissuade others from following their designs too closely.

15. They’ve always been on the leading edge of automobile production

This is a company that has always worked hard to create interesting new designs that perform exceptionally well. That’s one of the reasons that you’re likely to see older Volvo cars on the road, long after their competitors from a similar era have given up the ghost.

16. The company has been a leader in safety for a number of years

Volvo has been extremely safety-conscious. Therefore, they have worked tirelessly to ensure that those who were either driving or riding in their cars would be safe in an accident. In fact, they spearheaded a lot of the safety features that are now legally required on virtually all cars. The difference is that they were doing it long before it was a requirement.

17. They were the first ones to come up with laminated windshields

As a matter of fact, Volvo was the first company to develop windshields that were laminated. This dramatically reduced the chances that someone would be injured by breaking glass during an impact. It wasn’t until much later that other automotive manufacturers started following suit.

18. The same is true for padded dashboards

One of their earlier safety features was the padded dashboard. Clearly, this was designed to keep occupants from striking a hard surface if they were to crash. Many consider this to b one of the company’s more primitive safety features, but it lead to more effective measures such as the installation of airbags, which was also spearheaded by Volvo.

19. They installed seatbelts in their cars long before it was required by law

Volvo even made the decision to install seatbelts throughout their cars, in both the front and back seats. This was something they chose to do long before it became a law, and it was all done in the name of safety.

20. Starting next year, all of their cars will be hybrids or even fully electric

The company is still making some of the most remarkable changes in the automotive industry. All of their 2019 model will cease to rely on the traditional combustion engine for power. Some of them will be fully electric and the rest will be hybrids. This is just one more way that Volvo is working tirelessly to change the industry for the better, all while producing superior automobiles.

Now that you know more information about the company known as Volvo Cars, you probably have a much deeper appreciation for the cars themselves. Most people don't realize that it is because of Volvo Cars that all vehicles now have seat belts and airbags, not to mention windshields that don't shatter on impact. Many of their innovations have become standard across the board, regardless of the type of car that is in question. That fact alone attests to the ability of Volvo to understand what drivers need and then produce automobiles that can deliver. The same is basically true when it comes to cars that are energy efficient. Volvo has long prided itself on creating vehicles that can perform well without guzzling a ton of gas. In the modern world, they are definitely at the front of the pack when it comes to creating vehicles that are more environmentally friendly.

There is no doubt that other automobile manufacturers will follow them when it comes to energy efficiency as well. Somehow, Volvo has always seemed to know what needed to be incorporated into vehicles and then do it successfully long before it was required. One of the more interesting things to ponder is the fact that in many cases, the very things that were incorporated on cars manufactured from Volvo eventually became requirements for every automobile. It's likely that the same thing will happen with the electric and hybrid models that Volvo is currently working to produce. Of course, only time will tell how things will eventually play out but it's a universally accepted train of thought that vehicles with internal combustion engines will cease to be produced much sooner rather than later. When you really stop and think about it, it only makes sense that Volvo would be at the front of the line for these changes as well. All they're doing is continuing to produce the very best products they can. That usually means that they are a few steps ahead of virtually everyone else. More specifically, it usually means that the other auto makers are looking to Volvo in order to decide what they should do next.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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